The use of selected indicators to examine marine fishery sustainability within the Nigeria-Sao Tome & Principe Joint Development Zone
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis
In 1999, the officials of the Nigerian and Sao Tome & Principe’s governments embarked upon delineating their maritime boundary. They discovered that the two nations’ maritime boundary overlapped as a result of establishing their Exclusive Economic Zone; and this area of overlap was found to have enormous hydro carbon and non-hydrocarbon resources. Several meetings and negotiations ensured and the area of overlap designated a joint development zone. The aim of the research is to evaluate the viability and effectiveness of implementing the recently published Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme-Large Marine Ecosystem indicators to the Nigeria-Sao Tome & Principe Joint Development Zone-an area of sub-Large Marine Ecosystem scale- given the characteristics of the zone and particularly the extent of Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported fishing around the area. An interview and questionnaire survey was conducted on some selected stakeholders where initial findings revealed a clear lack of information exchange among critical stakeholders, inadequate attention to living resource exploitation in a joint development designated to cover both living and non-living resources, lack of a coherent mechanism to tackle issues of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing practices among others and most importantly lack of or ignorance on the use and employment of indicators for marine ecosystem assessment as encouraged by scientists. Results from the survey were further compared and evaluated against international best practices where recommendations emerged. This provided insights and lessons upon further evaluations from examples of successful application of use and deployment of indicators for marine resource assessment especially in joint development context for the research area that are capable of being applicable elsewhere in similar scenarios. Feedback and comments were later obtained upon the initial analysis from the main stakeholders responsible for the sustainable management of the Joint Development Zone’s fishery resources. This was then integrated into the research which provided critical insights and key lessons on the use and employment of indicators as well as on the current management arrangements in place for the sustainable management of the Joint Development Zone’s fishery resources.
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